Tigers can handle favourites tag, says Chester

Hull City's James Chester
Hull City's James Chester
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AS a teenager, James Chester had to overcome a dislocated knee so the nerves of a Wembley visit are nothing.

The Tigers defender, even allowing for a couple of own goals and a lengthy spell out injured, has been one of several success stories for Steve Bruce’s men this season.

Whether partnering Curtis Davies in the centre of defence or as part of a three-man back-line, Chester has adapted well to life at the top level and is now desperate to finish a memorable season by playing in an FA Cup final.

He said: “I used to be really nervous as a kid but, thankfully, I have grown out of it. The feeling ahead of the semi-final is more of excitement than anything else.

“I don’t think we can believe we are at this stage of the competition. Now we are, though, we want to get the job done.”

Chester joined Hull midway through the 2010-11 season as one of several arrivals from Manchester United.

He said: “The move couldn’t really have gone any better. Earlier in my career, I had dislocated my knee which was bad. I was on loan at Plymouth and just three games after moving there I dislocated it.

“I was out for six months and driving people mad. It was very painful, but thankfully it popped back in again pretty quickly.

“That is why it wasn’t a wrench to leave Old Trafford. I’d had some bad injuries and my contract was coming to an end. I knew I had to prove myself to other clubs that I could make a career of it in the game.

“The call came from Hull and there was no question about it, I wanted to come here.”

Chester, with 128 league appearances for the Tigers to his name, believes being favourites tomorrow is no problem for City.

He added: “We have played lower league opposition already and got through and we have a group of lads here who are going to run around all day and compete with anything, regardless of which league they are in. I’m confident we can get past them.

“My last cup final was the FA Youth Cup against Liverpool so I’ve had some preparation for this, at a very different level, of course. But, as a young lad, it was a great experience of playing in front of a big crowd for the first time.”